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Monet Clark: California Girl, a Retrospective Debut 

When: Nov. 4-Dec. 17 2011

This "retrospective debut" solo show of performance/video artist Monet Clark begins with a 1992 video, "Convulsive Stripper," showing the young SFAI grad doing a striptease that turns into an epileptic fit (whether it is simulated or real is unclear) that may strike the average insensitive male gaze as mere erotic transport. Tragically real, however, was Clark's long struggle with Environmental Illness, an autoimmune reaction to chemicals commonly used in American homes, which led to a shocking degree of emaciation. Clark documented her travails in performances for video and still camera, notably "12 Frames of Isolation (1996-7)," no doubt a sardonic version of Six Degrees of Separation. Returned to health, Clark created a "Look Book (2011)" series of short videos combining fashion-shoot sets and lighting with spiritual/religious symbols and texts; some involve nudity. Monet Clark: California Girl runs through Dec. 17 at Krowswork Gallery (480 23rd St., Oakland). 510-229-7035 or KrowsWork.com

— DeWitt Cheng

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